World

French far right faces test in regional election runoff after dominating first round

  • A torn poster of French far-right party leader Marine Le Pen is seen in Henin-Beaumont, northern France, Friday, Dec. 11, 2015.  Le Pen is in the race for the presidency of the French northern region. The second round of the regional elections will take place Sunday. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)

    A torn poster of French far-right party leader Marine Le Pen is seen in Henin-Beaumont, northern France, Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. Le Pen is in the race for the presidency of the French northern region. The second round of the regional elections will take place Sunday. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)  (The Associated Press)

  • French far-right party leader Marine Le Pen, right, campaigns at the Lille international market  in Lomme, northern France, Friday, Dec.11, 2015.  Le Pen, head of the National Front Party, is in the race for the presidency of the French northern region. The second round of the regional elections will take place Sunday. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)

    French far-right party leader Marine Le Pen, right, campaigns at the Lille international market in Lomme, northern France, Friday, Dec.11, 2015. Le Pen, head of the National Front Party, is in the race for the presidency of the French northern region. The second round of the regional elections will take place Sunday. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)  (The Associated Press)

  • French far-right party leader Marine Le Pen visits the Christmas market in Henin-Beaumont, northern France, Friday, Dec. 11, 2015.  Le Pen is in the race for the presidency of the French northern region. The second round of the regional elections will take place Sunday. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)

    French far-right party leader Marine Le Pen visits the Christmas market in Henin-Beaumont, northern France, Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. Le Pen is in the race for the presidency of the French northern region. The second round of the regional elections will take place Sunday. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)  (The Associated Press)

Marine Le Pen's anti-immigration National Front is the frontrunner heading into the decisive second round of French regional elections.

Le Pen is riding high after extremist attacks and Europe's migrant crisis, and the party came out on top in six of France's 13 newly drawn regions in the first round last week. But polls suggest it may fail to translate that into wins in the second round Sunday.

The once-powerful Socialist Party, which currently controls all but one of France's regions, came in a poor third place in the first round and Former President Nicolas Sarkozy's party came in a strong second.

Winning control of any region would be unprecedented and a big boost for the National Front — and especially for Le Pen's hopes for the presidency in 2017.